Meta’s first foray into virtual reality advertising was a resounding failure. According to a Monday press release, the company is now shifting to a different money-making strategy within its metaverse: the buying and selling of virtual “items and effects.”
Horizon Worlds, Meta’s open-world VR app where you can be the rudimentary, cartoon, floating torso you’ve always wanted to be, is getting commerce.
Horizon creators will be able to sell in-world items to other users, such as virtual clothes and accessories or character mods. Meta, on the other hand, will take a whopping 25% cut.
The opportunity to have the company that used to be known as Facebook take a quarter of your earnings is currently limited to a small number of creators who have been hand-picked by the company.
Meta hopes to expand the selling function to everyone after the testing period is over.
These types of tools are steps toward our long-term vision for the metaverse where creators can earn a living and people can purchase digital goods, services, and experiences.— Meta
Purchasing in the metaverse is restricted to users aged 18 and up in the US and Canada, and payments are processed through the Meta App Store.
For the time being, the simulated goods purchased in one of Horizon Worlds’ “worlds” will not be transferable to others, implying that the phony goods you pay for are only valid in the designated area in which you purchased them.
However, Vivek Sharma, Meta’s VP of Horizon, stated in an interview with another news outlet, “We want to do this in a way that will scale eventually to cross worlds, into shared spaces and beyond.”
As problems and potential fixes arise, all of the other parameters and features of the burgeoning metaverse economy are likely to change as well
According to the news source, users currently have no way of knowing whether the items they pay for will be as advertised. Meta, on the other hand, is deferring resolution to a later date.
The future has arrived, but it does not appear to include consumer protections.
NFTs, and cryptocurrencies
Users will be able to buy and sell goods and services in the metaverse’s parallel digital economy, which will be powered by blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Major brand names will participate in this economy by purchasing prime virtual “real estate” and building and selling space in virtual reality shopping malls.
An intangible “land rush” is taking place entirely in the digital realm as you read this. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being raised by technology giants, major consumer brands, and thousands of startups to create a navigable digital reality.
Nike, for example, recently acquired a company that specializes in digital shoes that your avatar can wear while in the metaverse.
The virtual economy that will connect the metaverse will almost certainly be built on a brand new blockchain application known as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs.
In the form of crypto art, or more broadly, crypto media, early versions of NFTs are already making headlines.
Crypto art is a digital version of a media product – a work of art, music, or film – in which you can buy and sell “shares” using the blockchain.
The blockchain is the same networked computer system that underpins Bitcoin and Ethereum, a less well-known digital currency.